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st: variable name with special character

From   Jeph Herrin <>
Subject   st: variable name with special character
Date   Mon, 10 Feb 2014 15:22:34 -0500


I used Stat/Transfer v12 to create a Stata dataset from an Excel file. When I open the file in Stata, I find that many of the variable names have special characters (apparently), because Stata can't see them. Example:

 . d A3*

               storage   display    value
 variable name   type    format     label      variable label
 A3              str2    %2s
 A3a             str2    %2s
 A3b             str2    %2s
 A3c_1           str2    %2s
 A3c_2           str2    %2s
 A3c_3           str2    %2s
 A3c_4           str2    %2s
 A3c_5           str2    %2s
 A3c_6           str2    %2s
 A3c_7           str2    %2s

 . d A3
 A3 ambiguous abbreviation

So there seems to be a non-printing character trailing -A3-; I have dozens of these in the dataset. In the original excel file, all seems to be in order. There are trailing blanks in the top row; however,

 . renvars _all, postsub(" " "")
 no renames necessary

Any thoughts on how I can identify and repair the problem with these variable names?


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